|itsislandtime > Gilligan's Island > Gilligan's Island Information|
By Beachcomber, retrieved from Wikipedia
Nov 2, 2003, 21:15
Gilligan's Island was an American TV sitcom from the 1960s. Early episodes were filmed in black-and-white; later episodes in color. The show's theme song, The Ballad of Gilligan's Island begins:
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...
The Gilligan of the show's name is the hapless deckhand of the S.S. Minnow, the ship whose ill-fated cruise created the series. Other characters are the 'Skipper' (referred to as Jonas Grumby in the pilot), the 'Professor' (referred to as Roy Hinkley in the pilot), millionaires Mr. and Mrs. Thurston B. Howell III, movie star Ginger Grant, and farm girl Mary Ann Summers. The show's plots often revolved around the characters' failed attempts to get off the island where they have been shipwrecked.
As Ginger Grant, actress Tina Louise created a version of the quintessential Hollywood star and even her name, an amalgam of Ginger Rogers and Cary Grant, was an homage to Hollywood's past. The character was originally written as a sarcastic and sharp tongued temptress but Louise argued that this type of character was too extreme and refused to play it as written. A compromise was reached and Louise agreed to play her as a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball. The evening gowns and hair style used was designed to recreate the look of Myrna Loy. Louise continued to clash with producers and was the only cast member who refused to return for any of the TV movies that followed the series cancellation, saying that the role had destroyed her career as a serious actress.
In Episode 96, "The Pigeon", the island is said to be located 300 miles southeast of Honolulu. The Great circle geodetic equation places this at 18.2N 154.7W, only 75 miles from the Big Island. In one episode the fictional professor quoted an exact position of 10N 110W, which is generally discounted as it places the island closer to Mexico and 3100 miles from Hawaii. The actual filming took place at 34.1N 118.7W, in Echo Park in Los Angeles.
The Professor is a genius able to construct practically anything from palm fronds and coconuts, but he is unable to build a boat. Another strange and puzzling fact is that the S.S. Minnow was on a three hour tour - so why did the passengers carry all of their luggage on the trip?
According to the show's creator and cast the name "S.S. Minnow" was actually named after Newton Minow, who was chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission in 1961. In a much-publicized speech, he called television a "vast wasteland." The boat was named after the man who, Gilligan's Island producer Sherwood Schwartz insists, "ruined television." Minow gave networks authority and placed the power of programming in the hands of the networks. He did this after Gilligan's Island was started.
The last new episode of the show aired on September 4, 1967. In the series, the castaways never succeeded in leaving the island. However, in later made for TV movies, the castaways did successfully leave the island, but they had difficulty reintegrating into society. After being marooned and rescued once again, the Howells converted the island into a resort which was saved due to the timely intervention of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Click here for the full Wikipedia article.